A recent report by Euromonitor International has revealed that luxury fashion brands are increasingly developing ranges positioned at the middle ground; and there we were all thinking that the financial crisis had polarised price-points. According to the research company, affordable luxury is 'the post-financial crisis sweet spot' with trendsetting brands such as Burberry, Mulberry and Ralph Lauren increasingly dependent on diffusion lines and lower priced items such as accessories to supplement their bottom line.
The boom in accessibly priced luxury goods has been primarily attributed to consumers within the middle income shopping bracket buying products that they believe to be better quality or longer lasting.
However is this democratisation of luxury a good thing for the industry, or is there a risk of diluting status consumption culture? Euromonitor explain: 'The simple answer is, no, provided that companies do not blur the boundaries between their top end luxury brands and their lower end. What is more likely is that the luxury goods industry will become increasingly segmented, to the extent that affordable luxury begins to operate as a standalone industry in its own right.'
With the market growing at unprecedented speed – with no signs of it slackening off – expect to see luxury fashion houses issue more diffusion lines and becoming increasingly affiliated with fast-fashion collaborations and big brand stockists.
By The Industry's Features Editor, Harriet Bowe
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